Cloud Vs. On-Premise PIM – Which is Best for Your Business?

If you are looking to implement a PIMsystem, you will likely find two different PIM solutions – On-premise and clouddeployment. While both can help businesses boost efficiency in managing productinformation, streamlining workflows and improving the quality of product data,there are some differences you need to be aware of.

In this post, we will breakdown some key differences between the two, so you can choose the best optionbased on your end business goals.

What is Cloud PIM?

Cloud-based PIM is a system that is hostedin the cloud, which can be accessed through the internet or an application.Cloud infrastructure eliminates the need of downloading and installing a PIMsolution to any device.

It also eliminates the need of having your own storagespace, as these cloud systems store client data through Google or Amazon WebServices (AWS).

Cloud-based PIM platforms are usually subscription-based that come ready to use as soon as it is implemented. It is usually offered as a SaaS, meaning your PIM provider will provide a team working alongside you.

What is On-Premise PIM?

As the name suggests, on-premise PIM platform is located physically on-site. You purchase it once and then you deploy it on your own servers. You have full control of the PIM implementation, integration, upgrades, maintenance and customizations. In order to ensure everything runs smoothly, you will also need a dedicated IT team.

On-premise PIM systems also come in two types – open-source and proprietary platform. The open-source system enables you to access and make changes in the source code as you feel suitable according to your business requirements. While in proprietary platform, your PIM vendor will be responsible for adding new features and upgrades.

There is clearly a huge discussion goingaround both the platforms, as some businesses prefer on-premise over cloudapplication, while others vice versa. In this post, we will compare bothplatforms based on the six parameters that will help you choose the best PIM solution for your business.

Six Parameter to Choose the Best PIM Solutions

#1 Speed

Speed is a crucial factor for any business to become successful. If you are able to meet your customer demands as quickly as possible, you have more chances to win customers. A PIM solution that is easy to implement can help you get in the market faster and sell the right products at the right time.

A cloud PIM minimizes all the deployment relatedactivities and ensures faster time to market. Since the PIM system is alreadyinstalled and ready to use, you can start working on your product dataimmediately, automate catalog creation and build multiple marketing campaigns.

Furthermore,with a cloud PIM system you don’t need to worry about application hosting,system maintenance and security upgrades as everything is managed by the PIMvendor.

On the other hand, working with on-premisePIM application is a time-consuming and labor-intensive process in order to beimplemented successfully. It requires your team to manage all theresponsibilities of installation, hosting, configuration and maintenance.

Althoughon-premise solution offers a high-level of customization and better controlover data, it requires significant time investment for resource planning,system maintenance and equipment setup.

#2 Level of Control

When it comes to the level of control youhave, there will be two important elements to consider – the control you haveover the data within the PIM system and the control over the platform itself.

If you are looking to have a total controlover how you wish to access, store and manage product data, then a cloud-basedPIM may not be an ideal solution for you. Cloud PIM takes care of installationand configuration to a great extent, but the control lies much with theprovider.

If a provider rolls out a new version or a system upgrade, it will beapplicable to all the clients without their consent. There will be certainissues that will remain beyond your control.

With on-premise implementation, you havetotal control over your PIM system. As the application is hosted on-premiseserver, you have complete command over your product data and system design. Youcan control system versions and customize the application to match yourbusiness needs.

Since the PIM system is located physically on-site, you cansecurely store information, quickly retrieve data, control version issues andthereby have better control over your product data.

#3 Cost

The cost of the application is another key consideration that should be taken into account. A PIM that is implemented on-site will certainly have different cost implications than a PIM that is cloud-based.

Cloud-based PIM has much lower costcompared to an on-premise PIM system. That is because you won’t have topurchase any additional hardware or software as the PIM system will readilyintegrate with your existing system.

Additionally, the cost of cloud PIMincludes installation, configuration, upgrades, new features and maintenance. Thisis ideal for small and medium businesses that operate on a limited budget anddon’t need high-end, fully-customizable system to manage their product data.

The cost to implement on-premise PIM system is quite higher than cloud PIM systems. It requires significant investment, including the cost of software licensing, additional hardware, installation, configuration, maintenance, new plug-ins and continuous upgrades. But, this gives you better control over all aspects of your PIM system.

#4 Security

Data security and privacy are one of the biggest concerns for any business owner when using a new software tool. Although both on-premise and cloud PIM are susceptible to attack, you must ensure that your PIM offers complete security of your product information at any cost.

When using cloud-based PIM, the security of your data lies in the hands of the PIM vendors. Most cloud PIM providers offer robust security measures with universally accepted security standards for their platform security, network, operating systems and infrastructure. Since everything works on the cloud, you don’t have much control over security in cloud PIM.

Therefore, many businesses choose on-premise PIM solutions over cloud PIM for higher security and reliability. Enterprises that deal with extremely sensitive product information invest in on-premise PIM. As the data is stored on-site and reside nowhere else, you have more scope of maintaining availability, confidentiality and integrity of the data.

#5 Scalability

Both on-premise and cloud PIM show some notable differences from the scalability perspective. As cloud PIM vendors are investing in advanced technologies, they offer higher scalability to enterprises for ensuring success in this highly competitive market.

Cloud PIM enables businesses to quickly respond to changes in demand due to market fluctuations. It eliminates the need of hiring additional resources or installing new server capacity, and offers a simplified way to meet increasing business requirements and improve time to market, which is a crucial success factor in today’s evolving business vertical.

On the other hand, on-premise PIMapplications have always been challenged by of their limited scalabilitypotential because of the use of physical servers. It is not easy to add newsystems when your business faces increased demands and move back to originalconfiguration when the demand is reduced.

Hence, no matter how strong youron-premise PIM systems are, if they are unable to scale according to changingcustomer demands, you are losing potential opportunities.

#6 Accessibility

How quickly and easily you can access data is not something to be underestimated. Accessibility plays an important role in determining your digital business success.

A software application that resides in thecloud is accessible from anywhere and anytime through a secured internetconnection. This enables business employees to access the data and givesfreedom to work remotely or on-the-go.

This also facilitates around the clockoperations, which is crucial if you are looking to expand globally. However, ifyou face connectivity issues, you won’t be able to access the data, which canturn into an extremely frustrating experience.

With on-premise PIM system, the dataresides within your own servers, giving you direct access to the productinformation without requiring you to connect to the internet. However,on-premise PIM do have some restriction on the remote access, which makesimpossible to access the data at any time and from anywhere.

Meaning, you canaccess the data stored in these systems only when the systems are functioning.Furthermore, creating a remote connection to give your employees access to thedata also adds another layer of complexity in the implementation process.

Meaning, you canaccess the data stored in these systems only when the systems are functioning.Furthermore, creating a remote connection to give your employees access to thedata also adds another layer of complexity in the implementation process.

Cloud Vs. On-premise PIM – Which Is Right for You?

At the end of the day, choosing the right PIM solution depends on your data management strategy and your end businessobjectives.

  • What product information management goals do you wish to achieve?
  • How quickly do you want to achieve?
  • What storage size do you need?
  • Do you have a larger or a smaller catalog?
  • What are your current systems and what IT resources do you have?
  • How much are you willing to invest?
  • What is your future business vision?

The answers to these questions will largely help you choose the right PIM for you.

Whether you choose on-premise or cloud PIM, make sure you test the PIM’s capabilities to ensure it fits well within your existing systems and deliver the level of performance you desire from the potential PIM.